I will be like the dew to Israel…. (Hosea 14:5a)
If we want God to bless us, then we must become “blessable”. God promises to be like the dew to His people. Do you think dew rises or falls? It does neither. Dew is always present in the atmosphere—it only manifests itself when the conditions are right. Similarly, God is ever-present and eager to bless His children abundantly—all that awaits is for us to get the spiritual atmosphere prepared to experience Him! The fourteenth chapter of Hosea tells us how.
There is the PLEA OF GOD TO RETURN (v.1-3a). The problem isn’t with God; the issue is with us. If the blessing of God is withdrawn, it is because we have chosen to walk away from Him. So, God pleads with them to repent (v.1) that blessing might be restored. Confession of sin will bring cleansing (v.2; cf.1 John 1:9). We dare not trust in ourselves, or lean on others—we must look to the Lord.
We must then believe in the PLEASURE OF GOD TO RESPOND (v.3b-5a). As a Father, He adopts the orphan child, and extends mercy to those who need it desperately (v.3b). Three things God says He will do (v.4-5a). First, He will heal our backsliding. As the Great Physician, He will heal our deadly moral malignancy. Second, He will love us freely. There will not be a mere trickle, but a torrent; not a drizzle, but a downpour—for God is love—boundless love. Third, He will be as the dew to us. Dew just does!
My professor of preaching (it was called “Homiletics”) at Fruitland Baptist Bible College, the late Dr. Kenneth Ridings, loved to preach on this text and remind us of several truths concerning the dew.
- Dew appears at night. The experiences of God we have in the darkest of times are likely to be the seasons of the soul where God does His greatest work.
- Dew is heaviest in the valleys. We often long for the sunshine of mountaintop experiences, yet God’s way is to bring us into valleys of the shadow of death, where He walks most nearly and dearly with us.
- Dew appears in the stillness. It isn’t on windy evenings, but on calm nights that the dew appears. Ours is a noisy world, and yet Scripture bids us to be still and know that He is God. Solitude is a needed discipline.
Then we claim the PROMISE OF GOD TO RESTORE (v.5b-9). There are several facets of God’s promise.
- We will grow like the lily (v.5b). The beauty of our testimony will adorn the place where we are planted.
- We will be rooted like the cedar (v.5c). There will be stability about us. We will not be blown about by every wind of doctrine.
- We will spread our branches like the olive tree (v.6a). We will bear much fruit for the glory of God.
- We will smell like the fragrance of a garden (v.6b). Lebanon was known for its lush vegetation. Trees and flowers adorned the area with their perfume—a remnant of paradise restored. So, our lives can be a reverse of the curse and pervade our home, church, school, workplace—wherever we may be.
- We will abide in the shadow of the Almighty (v.7). What a refuge!
Bountiful blessing comes when we turn from our false gods (v.8). We make a clean break with sin. We turn to the Living God (v.9). Our feet are set on the pathway of devotion to God. This is the basis of bountiful blessedness!